Artist Spotlight::Matt Costa & Unfamiliar Faces

On his 2006 debut Songs We Sing, Matt Costa established his reputation as a performer, wrapping introspective lyrics in textured melodies and creating a sound that was at once a throwback to another musical time while remaining thoroughly modern. With the October 2nd, 2007 release of Unfamiliar Faces, his second on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, Costa mines his imagination once again, crafting an ambitious collection of songs that explore themes of love, loss and fear. From the piano-driven opener “Mr. Pitiful” to the title-track, Unfamiliar Faces traverses musical styles drawing on elements of pop, country, folk and rock resulting in an effortlessly intoxicating musical experience.

Even for the fully initiated, Matt Costa is an enigma – a 25 year old, former skateboarder whose words and music recall some of the great troubadours of our time. Costa credits his diverse musical palette to the freedom and improvisation he experienced skating. “Any instrument that allows you the freedom to be creative, whether it be a skateboard or a canvas, it’s all a tangible way of discovering yourself,” says Costa.

After a life-changing accident left him in an 18-month recovery period, Costa dove head first into music, finding solace in the creative process. His music made its way through the vibrant SoCal arts scene and into the hands of No Doubt’s Tom Dumont, who mentored Costa and produced Songs We Sing.

When Costa sat down to write what would become Unfamiliar Faces, he locked himself in his Sacramento bedroom with some of his most treasured belongings and let inspiration take over, absorbing stories and memories from his possessions which included his favorite books, a wooden pipe and a box of old 45’s among others. In the spring of 2007, Costa re-teamed with Dumont to record the album.

With Songs We Sing, Matt Costa earned a reputation as one of music’s most buzzed-about emerging artists – crisscrossing the country with long-time supporter Jack Johnson, performing at music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza and headlining his own tours, which featured The 88, Elvis Perkins and The Watson Twins as openers. With the upcoming release of Unfamiliar Faces, Costa solidifies his place as one of music’s most compelling artists – one whose sound belies his years and effortlessly captures the heart of his audience.

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